In Hartford, Repairing Or Replacing The Quechee Covered Bridge

11/24/11 4:04PM By Kirk Carapezza

AP/Toby Talbot
People examined the damage to the Quechee Covered Bridge in September.
Hartford residents are debating whether to repair or replace the Quechee Covered Bridge which suffered serious damage to its foundation from Tropical Storm Irene floodwaters.

Town Manager Hunter Reisberg says the reproduction bridge is an important part of the social fabric and history of Quechee village, and the absence of it has contributed to a downturn in local business.

(Reisberg) "It was a great bridge and it will be again. It's our hope that in repairing or replacing the existing bridge that we can make it more flood resistant and able to carry or address the transportation needs of that village."

Hartford is looking at roughly $6.5-7 million in municipal damage. That includes the estimated $1-2 million it could cost to repair or replace the bridge.

Town officials say most Hartford residents support the idea of replacing the bridge as long as it remains covered and FEMA pledges to reimburse the town for up to 75 percent of the cost.

Irene destroyed three historic covered bridges in Vermont, including the 140-year-old Bartonsville Bridge in Rockingham, and damaged several others.

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